Vols aim at Florida commitments

SEC commissioner Mike Slive ordered Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin and Florida coach Urban Meyer to end their public verbal tiff this week.

Slive didn't say anything about recruiting.

So with an inspiring effort against Florida in their back pockets, Tennessee's coaches called every one of Florida's 15 verbal commitments for the 2010 class, according to a source close to the recruitment of those prospects.

Every one? Yep, every single one, and some undecided prospects, too.

The message was clear and concise: The Vols would have surely beaten Florida had it not been for Superman saving the day - and Tim Tebow is a senior.

Now, Florida fans and realists know that the "No Tebow = Vols Win" equation takes a serious leap of faith. Football is too complex a game to use such simplistic reasoning.

Perhaps another quarterback could have led the Gators to a victory? Perhaps backup John Brantley (who is considered a better pocket passer than Tebow) could have lit up the scoreboard. But let's not let logic get in the way of a good recruiting sales pitch.

Tebow certainly seemed to be the difference, at least at times. Especially when he avoided UT's Wes Brown and Rico McCoy on a key third-down conversion.

I'll let you debate just how important Tebow was.

The second part of UT's sales pitch was all about talent. Florida has more, granted. But the Vols are closing in on the defending national champions. And, UT's coaching staff kept last Saturday's game close.

So imagine what UT's coaches can do with comparable talent?

The confidence of UT's staff is the underlying factor in the pitch. Even in losses, they're still recruiting.

Remember the UCLA loss when the Bruins took a Neyland Stadium-sized needle and poked it into Knoxville's Big Orange balloon of excitement? The Vols picked up three highly rated prospects the very next day.

Now, it's not unusual for coaches to hold a silent commitment (likely receiver DeMarco Cobbs) for just the right moment when its fan base needs a boost. But to land three in a one day?

It seems Kiffin and recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron will continue wooing prospects no matter the scenario.

Has the Tennessee River run over? More room for prospects' families in the Vol Navy.

Neyland Stadium has been condemned? Tom Black Track has always been the better venue.

UT's recruiting is riding higher than at anytime after a loss in the 10 years I've been covering the Vols. Yet I'd offer three suggestions:

No. 1: Don't lose to Ohio.

No. 2: Watch for the Gators to strike back. I still find it odd that quarterback Jesse Scroggins seemed more worried about UT's minor NCAA violations after his summer trip to Florida. Meyer won't stand idly by.

No. 3: Stay cocky. Prospects love it.

Visitors: UT is set to host two - juco defensive tackle David Mahoney and teammate Kenny Davis - official visitors this weekend. While that might seem like a low number, prepare yourself for a bevy of prospects for the Auburn and Georgia games in the next two weeks.

Mahoney would be a huge pickup for the Vols. The 6-foot-2, 285-pound defensive tackle from Pierce Community College in Woodland Hills, Calif., is widely considered one of the best junior college defensive tackles in the nation. Mahoney has scholarship offers from several schools.

Davis, a wide receiver, also is expected to officially visit. The 6-3, 190-pounder is committed to Kansas State.

It's hard not to imagine an immediate upgrade on UT's defensive line if the Vols land Mahoney. While junior college players can be hit or miss, the Vols have two other junior college defensive linemen committed: John Brown from Booneville, Miss., and Pat Harris from Hayward, Calif. Those two, along with Mahoney, should overcome the junior college odds.

The Vols will need help next year as they lose defensive tackles Wes Brown and Dan Williams.

Fashion Statement: So much for Kiffin not liking orange. I'm told that Kiffin decided to have the Vols don orange pants last week against Florida. The white-on-white was considered a little old fashioned by some.

Makes you wonder if black jerseys will ever make their debut. Just kidding.

Dave Hooker covers recruiting. He can be reached at hookerd@knoxnews.com.

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Comments » 72

CoverOrange writes:

What is our historical win-loss record in orange pants? Off the cuff I would say not good but that goes back to the up and down Majors seasons. There are ways to add orange to the white/white uniforms other than full orange pants.

We still need OLinemen.

UTfaninYankeeland writes:

Article is very accurate. There is a fine line between a "renegade" program and a "confidant" one. I think we are being lead in the right direction but it is a slippery slope. Go Vols

Seriouslyorange writes:

Go Vols!!!! Always a good ice breaker.

rockytopatl writes:

These guys have cajones out the kazoo.

Don't diss the orange pants. They rock and do away with the booooring Penn State-look all-white road unis.

Voluvr writes:

With more QB & receiver production Tennessee wins handily in Florida. UF wouldn't have scored 23 either. Brantley would have done far worse. We completely took away the long ball. He would have been sacked up like 200 dollars worth of groceries on Saturday morning...paper or plastic.

VOLKING writes:

in response to MVuniv:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If you had won by 60, like you promised all pre-season, maybe this MV wouldn't haunt you so much. Oh, well....whatever makes you feel better. We feel good and have moved on. You....not so much. Let it go, my friend, and good luck against UK.

GahLee writes:

Very interesting, it seems like this staff is taking the smack the baddest kid on the block approach...I love it, recruiting is going to be key in turning the program around, no commit is a commit until N.S.D.

I would expect Florida and other programs to go hard after some of our verbals, nothing surprising about that, it's just that they recently contacted all of them.

Tennessee will be as good at recruiting as anybody with this staff, so it's just a matter of time before we start winning games...in bunches...Go Vols!!!

mikeisenuff writes:

how about dark grey uniforms and call it a smoke out. instead of black out like georgia

Voluvr writes:

Kiffin frustrates Meyer on and off the field. Meyer now knows he won't out coach, or out recruit him. Meyer knows it's over and so do the fans with Orange Envy as evidenced by their continued presence in here.

kjvols writes:

Welcome to the Irish my dear laddie

InertGas writes:

Urbie. If the Notre Dame job comes open you better jump on it. Things are going to get very difficult for you in the SEC East.

the10sevol writes:

in response to kjvols:

Welcome to the Irish my dear laddie

classic.

GBO

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

My last comment on the Fla. game. Brantley won't give UT half the problems Tebow gave us. UT has too good a defensive backfield and pass rush for a pocket passer to have a lot of success against. IMO

tennezz writes:

in response to MVuniv:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Did someone pee in your Cornflakes? Don`t worry you will have plenty of Crow to eat before the season is over and next year at Neybob!

the10sevol writes:

"Now, Florida fans and realists know that the "No Tebow = Vols Win" equation takes a serious leap of faith. Football is too complex a game to use such simplistic reasoning."

so shall we apply another simplistic approach? tebow, an all-america heisman winner, debated as the best college football player, perhaps ever, was stymied by a monte defense, and you think he wasn't the difference in the game? he willed the gators to the win, or did you not watch the game?

or do you think brantley could have mastered monte's d? please.

props to tim, thank God he graduates.

GBO

VOL03_NC writes:

MVuniv writes:
in response to Voluvr:

With more QB & receiver production Tennessee wins handily in Florida. UF wouldn't have scored 23 either. Brantley would have done far worse. We completely took away the long ball. He would have been sacked up like 200 dollars worth of groceries on Saturday morning...paper or plastic.

If Kiffin had not taken a knee with 6.5 minutes left, that might have helped you too.

OPIONIONS are like armpits, everyone has one...TROLL
see you next year when Spikes gets cleat marks across his face and the whine flu sets deep in in the UF benches...
GO VOLS!!!

Highlands_Whisky writes:

"Face it. UF has a better University, better funding, better Alumni, better recruting base and much superior facilities and fans."

Hmmm. Your state is bankrupt and suffered a net loss of residents for the first time since the 1960's this year. Not sure how you argue UF is "better funded" with that fact.

Better recruiting base- most definitely. You also get to compete with Miami and FSU (and now South Florida) for the recruits in that base.

Superior facilities- I disagree. UT has top 5 facilities and this fact is repeated by recruits who see and have seen both.

Superior fans- not sure how to take that. If you mean a false sense of superiority due to having a successful program for the last 15 years, you are dead on. Remember, UF was a joke until the mid-90's whereas schools like UT, Alabama, Auburn and LSU have been nationally prominent and relevant since the early 1900's.

In closing, UT had the #10 recruiting class for 2009 with FOUR WEEKS OF WORK. Currently, the Vols sit at #3 or #4, which is the highest ranked team in the SEC. Kiffin and Co will take more of UF's commitments before the Feb signing period, just like they did last year.

So sit back and enjoy your undefeated team. The Vols are closing fast and there is only one direction UF can go. DOWN LE TOILET.

the10sevol writes:

just did a body check, i have 2 armpits. and spikes is history for uT/uf. reality, what a concept.

GBO

the10sevol writes:

in response to Highlands_Whisky:

"Face it. UF has a better University, better funding, better Alumni, better recruting base and much superior facilities and fans."

Hmmm. Your state is bankrupt and suffered a net loss of residents for the first time since the 1960's this year. Not sure how you argue UF is "better funded" with that fact.

Better recruiting base- most definitely. You also get to compete with Miami and FSU (and now South Florida) for the recruits in that base.

Superior facilities- I disagree. UT has top 5 facilities and this fact is repeated by recruits who see and have seen both.

Superior fans- not sure how to take that. If you mean a false sense of superiority due to having a successful program for the last 15 years, you are dead on. Remember, UF was a joke until the mid-90's whereas schools like UT, Alabama, Auburn and LSU have been nationally prominent and relevant since the early 1900's.

In closing, UT had the #10 recruiting class for 2009 with FOUR WEEKS OF WORK. Currently, the Vols sit at #3 or #4, which is the highest ranked team in the SEC. Kiffin and Co will take more of UF's commitments before the Feb signing period, just like they did last year.

So sit back and enjoy your undefeated team. The Vols are closing fast and there is only one direction UF can go. DOWN LE TOILET.

this post could be considered to be flagrant gloating. if you persist on posting it i will have to throw a penalty flag for all posts after the 20th one.

objects in mirror are closer than they appear.

GBO

n2thecheckerboards2 writes:

in response to reyem060809:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Epic FAIL!!

Hounddog writes:

Yawwwaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnnnn! Excuse me.

Let's play football. Hounddog

VOLKING writes:

in response to MVuniv:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Wow. Such anger over a victory that lacked the 'butt-whipping' you were supposed to give us just doesn't seem to be sitting very well with UF fans, now does it? You won the game. I guess that wasn't enough. I suggest a warm glass of milk. Good luck against UK. Let us worry about Kiffin. You worry about....well, whatever. Deal?

chargervol writes:

in response to MVuniv:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

All you ever talk about is getting on your knees,Kneebob and now carrots. I have heard about coming out of the closet, but, we don't need no stinkin' gator coming out of the closet on a Vol site. Go back with your own kind. I know your name is M Oral Victory, but, let it go. This is a Vol site, not a support group. We are trying to talk sports, not sexuality, M Oral! Watch out for them Cats in blue tomorrow. They like to scratch. GO VOLS!!!

the10sevol writes:

in response to reyem060809:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Just for kicks and giggles...i called out a writer on the kns staff for a (imo) bs statement. i felt i was gracious in my reply and gave a tip of the cap to tt.

you replied with drivel and personal attacks on our staff. "iron-lung""? and you're outraged at clk's comments?

sad.

GBO

Highlands_Whisky writes:

in response to reyem060809:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

All time series was tied at 19-19 until UF won this year. It is now 20-19 in favor of UF.

Hardly owning, but whatever helps you sleep at night.

As for the "You just don't know that yet", I envy your prescience. I suppose you have won the past 3 powerball lotteries with your clairvoyance.

the10sevol writes:

in response to 1stAndGoal:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

orange pants and black jerseys? hope i'm in the grave and listening to john ward call the game when that happens. old school.

GBO

Highlands_Whisky writes:

in response to the10sevol:

this post could be considered to be flagrant gloating. if you persist on posting it i will have to throw a penalty flag for all posts after the 20th one.

objects in mirror are closer than they appear.

GBO

Not sure what you mean by this. I have been hitting the Ketel Uno tonight so my ability to detect smack vs satire has been reduced.

Go Vols, let's beat Round On The Sides And High In The Middle and get ready for Ubarn.

xvolx writes:

I love it. Call them all. We never saw UT fight for recruits while "he" was there.

volbeast33 writes:

in response to reyem060809:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If you think the Vols are so far behind you then why do you come to our board all the time. I know Tennessee fans dont hang out on the Kentucky and Vanderbilt boards.

Lostvolinhighweeds writes:

in response to MVuniv:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thanks for your input.
I will give it all the consideration it deserves.

MidwestVol writes:

in response to GahLee:

Very interesting, it seems like this staff is taking the smack the baddest kid on the block approach...I love it, recruiting is going to be key in turning the program around, no commit is a commit until N.S.D.

I would expect Florida and other programs to go hard after some of our verbals, nothing surprising about that, it's just that they recently contacted all of them.

Tennessee will be as good at recruiting as anybody with this staff, so it's just a matter of time before we start winning games...in bunches...Go Vols!!!

No doubt about it ALP. And you can also say that the gatornation and bammers out there are very worried about it. Everyone, from SEC commish to college game day is talking about a 1-2 team more than any other team. And defensive recruits who have a shot at the NFL are all talking about the NFL advanced placement format at Tennessee under Monte Kiffin. Expect perfection!

blitzshoot writes:

It's football time in Tennessee! Go Vols!

great2batnvol writes:

I haven't been on here in a while and can't believe the Fla fans are still here. Let me tell all you vol fans that there's not a snow ball chance in hatiees that I'm on a Gator website,Alabama,Ga,etc. chirping and giving them a sniff of time. Go away little girls, go away. you've had your day in the sun and you all are about to get yours and you know this.

CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED writes:

I would think that all the gators should consider this a compliment. I mean, we want the players you are recruiting because Myer only wants the top 1% of the top 1%. It seems that CLK has made a decision to be just like Myer. NOT Good to see CLK and staff try to kick them right in their gator gonads.

I guess the trolls will remain here for another full year. They all said they would go away after they mighty swamp lizards give us a world-class beatdown in the swamp. Since that didn't happen, we are stuck until we kick their azzz next year, then they will be gone.

Hope all the recruits CLK contacts have had their WHINE FLU shots. GO VOLS

txvolsfan writes:

in response to MVuniv:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You're an IDIOT, learn the game of football before you open your PIE hole!!!
better get your shots in now because Stones Kiffin is building a dynasty!!!
GO VOLS
TXVOLSFAN

fball writes:

hope u get alot of many moral victories...

spencer1989#206886 writes:

"SEC commissioner Mike Slive ordered Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin and Florida coach Urban Meyer to end their public verbal tiff this week." I have been following this and other than one comment (that was not slamming the Gators program), exactly what has Kiffen done to "offend" the "golden coach that does no wrong" or Mr Slime?

Psychovol writes:

I love the moxey of this staff. Urby is on borrowed time. He's lost his edge by sniffing Tim's t-bows and has done frontal lobe damage.

yeavols#228407 writes:

in response to reyem060809:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What a bunch of garbage...UF doesn't own anyone. You pad your statistics like Urban pads excuses.

UT-UF series were hardly played in the 70's and 80's. The series was tied at 19-19 last week. What you have done is taken your success in the last 30 years and distorted your success rate to your advantage. Your Johnny come lately program has been a success under the Cheating Galen Hall when you got the NCAA probabtion followed by Spurrier and Meyer. Enjoy those numbers now because you know it's fast sinking. Like your basketball program, it too will fall into ashes like every other team in the country. When you get as many SEC champs, national champs, NFL players, and bowl games as we do, you can crow.

I don't even have to check the numbers, It's a guarantee you are behind the VOLS which bothers you the most.

smokyredbone writes:

Called every one of the Turds verbals,lmfao!!! Thats a kick in the nuts for Urby. We need to thank Lil Urby for reserving all those seats for the nations elite High Schoolers in the end zone. They got a front row seat and unobstructed view of J.J. (true freshman) destroying Brandon James!! HAHAHA! Wouldn't have worked out much better if we would have beaten them!! GO VOLS!

crimsonviper writes:

Good luck today Vol fans (don't think you will need it). For all going to the game travel safe and have a big time...Go Vols!

smokeypants writes:

Whats Meyer going to do next once the rest of Ron Zook's recruits graduate? Riding the coat tails are we Mr Meyer?

BuckFama writes:

in response to MVuniv:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

All of us here in Vol-land agree that you, MVuniv, are the authority on getting down on your knees. From what we hear, you do it quite often.

dadofisaac writes:

"Face it. UF has a better University, better funding, better Alumni, better recruting base and much superior facilities and fans"

Seriously, I had to LOL at this statement. However, MVuniv, you Gator fans do get my vote each year for "National Chumps". Enjoy another this year.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to the10sevol:

orange pants and black jerseys? hope i'm in the grave and listening to john ward call the game when that happens. old school.

GBO

Me too! I guess the fashion-forward types are entitled to their opinions, but I prefer the classics. The orange pants are a throw-back look, and I enjoyed seeing them since they haven't worn them in awhile. Still, I like the all-white look with the black border around the numbers. To me, that is a nice, clean classic look. I DO think Penn St's white with blue look is pretty dull, but the orange makes UT's whites really pop. JMHO.

kman29 writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

This is so laughable. Right after the game, all the visiting prospects went to the Gator locker room with the team and hung out in there for nearly an hour and a half after the game talking with assistant coaches and players while also getting interviewed by media from rivals and scout. Was Kiffin hanging out in the Gator locker room at that same time? As for Jeff Luc, you can hope to get this guy, but sorry. Keep your ears open over the next month regarding not only him but also DE Ronald Powell. Both will be announcing to wear orange, just not the orange that you want them to wear. Both are already silents to UF

AFVol423 writes:

No Black Jersey! Unless we play Halloween night.

Even if the recruit doesn't come here, maybe they will go somewhere besides FL. That's a moral victory.

notoriousBIGorange writes:

in response to MVuniv:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I would respond to this if I didn't have the flu and MV isn't trying to win the argument anyway....BAHAHAHAHA

OMike writes:

in response to reyem060809:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

UT will improve and challenge every year starting 2011. Florida will challenge every year. Alabama there, LSU there, Georgia there, on there way Auburn, Arkansas, maybe USC, maybe Ole Miss, maybe Kentucky. It will be brutal for all. Best conference in the nation ever in 2 years.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to reyem060809:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I find it funny that you're so quick to suggest that we're not focused on the task ahead when you keep trolling UT sites... hmmmmmm

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